2021 Rookie of the Year Nick Page caught up with FIS for their 10 questions Q&A series:
We’re wrapping up our Q&A series with the final installment before we kick off the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season later this week in Ruka, and today we present you another good one with 2021 moguls “Rookie of the Year” – Nick Page (USA). Enjoy!
Q: Looking back at 2020/21 season, no doubt it was a very successful season for you. First World Cup podium, top-10 in the overall standing and some impressive results at World Championships in Almaty that led to the Rookie of the Year award. What does it all mean to you?
A: Last season was great. I made some nice steps in getting closer to where I want to be and I was excited with the progress when we finished in March. As I recount all the accolades that came from the 2020/21 season, it was nice to see the work I had put in was paying off — and at the same time served as a great reminder to work even harder to reach the next step. It’s easy to take for granted how lucky I am to travel and compete against the best in the World; and when you look back on, it’s really special.
Q: Let’s look back at last year’s event in Idre, where you scored your first your first World Cup podium. Can you tell us something more about that day? We reckon it must have been a pretty special day for you…
A: Idre last year was awesome. With it being my first podium, it was one of the first times I really felt like I was ready to contend and compete at the highest level of our sport. I remember so vividly standing up at the top before Super-Finals with the other five guys I was competing against (Ikuma, Ben, Brodie, Brad, and Oskar). There was almost this ‘unspoken energy’ at the time — we all wanted to win, but at the same time we all wanted each other to ski their very best runs. We were all looking to beat each other at their best; and I think that positive and competitive energy is what our sport is all about, and it was definitely something I will never forget.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for you when competing during a worldwide pandemic and how do you deal with it?
A: Competing and traveling during the pandemic was absolutely a curve ball. I don’t think anyone could have predicted what that was going to entail, but all around I think FIS as well as the US Ski and Snowboard Team handled it extremely well. The uncertainty of what our schedule was going to look like or if we’d even be able to travel were some challenging roads to navigate, and it’s hard to forget the countless amount of COVID tests. I still tear up every time I get one poked up my nose! However, with all the negatives that the pandemic brought I think it brought along some positives as well. With training centres and gyms being shut down, I was really able to focus on getting my fitness to a new level. I built a gym in my basement and was able to take advantage of all that new free time in a productive way that would pay off once we got back into competing; and as I moved from 28th to 9th in the World. I think it did just that.
Q: Now looking ahead to the new season with the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on the horizon, what are your goals for 2021/22?
A: We’re coming up to an exciting year — there’s a lot on the line and I’m so excited to see what happens. The Olympics are definitely on my mind, as I’d love to represent Team USA in Beijing; but on top of that, I want to continue to work on getting into contention. Being able to bring your best when it matters most is so important in competition; whether that be in a World Cup start gate, the golf course, or any situation where something is on the line. I think that’s something you can only learn by putting yourself in the situation — seeing what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately learning how to fail in order to succeed. I’m really looking forward to showing off all the work I’ve put in during the off season and see what happens by the end of the competition year!
Q: The US moguls team looks like one big family. You spend a lot of time together training, traveling and competing. What is like to be part of such a successful team? Who pushes you the most and how?
A: Our US Team is really special. I think the backbone of it comes from our staff who put in every effort to help make us our best. I really feel like I’m held accountable for everything I do, which makes our staff full of exceptional allies, on top of being already great friends. The athletes on the team are full of hard workers, and it’s great to train alongside them because I think that kind of culture makes everyone better. It’s pretty cool; there are lots of people around me who challenge me to be my best. I grew up idolizing Bryon Wilson. I went from watching him in 2010 to being able to call him one of my closest friends and most trusted coaches; he helps make me better everyday. I remember as I started to develop as a skier I constantly chased athletes like Brad Wilson and Morgan Schild around at every opportunity I got. I was obsessed with being around them because I knew they would make me better — as a skier and a person. Fast forward to today: and it’s no different… now we just wear the same jacket as teammates.